Reports have been swirling over the last few days that Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli and the agent for 21-year-old B's sniper Phil Kessel are pretty far apart in negotiations, and that a trade of Kessel this summer could be a certainty if that contractual chasm isn't bridged.
Kessel's agent Wade Arnott checked in with the Big Bad Blog on Tuesday afternoon, refuted the notion that the sides are at an impasse, and in fact stated that he and Chiarelli have just recently opened up contract discussions. The negotiations began in earnest this week following Kessel's surgery to repair a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
"We're in the early, early stages," said Arnott of the negotiations. "We're just beginning to chat now. Everything in our industry is still deadline-oriented and Phil is a restricted free agent, so it doesn't surprise me (that discussions have only just begun). In addition to that, the priority was the surgery on his shoulder. Now that he's recovering nicely from that I guess Peter has decided that now is the time to turn his attention to Phil.
"My instructions from Phil are that my first priority is to try and get a deal done with Boston," said Arnott, who also indicated that Kessel's recovery from shoulder surgery is going well, but that the young winger is likely to miss a month next season. "His interests lie in remaining in Boston, and we're going to see if we can get that done first."
For more info about the Kessel negotiations, check in with the Big Bad Blog.
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